Uncertain Peril: Genetic Engineering and the Future of Seeds

By Claire Hope Cummings | Go to book overview

SEVEN

The Botany of Abundance

I think that more knowledge of how to co-operate
with nature for our own good is the greatest need
of the world today. Man's control of his own future
may depend in the long run on whether his biologi-
cal knowledge, which is constructive, can catch up
with his knowledge of the physical sciences, which
has taught him so much about how to destroy.

HENRY A. WALLACE, secretary of
agriculture, 1937 USDA Yearbook


Fort Collins, Colorado

A strong westward wind could kick up over the Nebraska prairie and blow steadily across the plains without much interruption until it hit the Front Range, the eastern flank of the Rocky Mountains. That's where the city of Fort Collins huddles up against the foothills that gently rise to the west before becoming the high jagged peaks of the Medicine Bow Mountains, then the Continental Divide. In the mid-nineteenth century, migrants moving west also stopped here. They settled the lands of the Ute nation and of other tribes, who did their best to resist the invasion. To protect themselves from Indian retaliation, the colonists established Camp Collins in 1862 with two companies of the Kansas Volunteer Cavalry. After the Civil War and after local hostilities died down, the fort was taken over by a farmer from New York

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Uncertain Peril: Genetic Engineering and the Future of Seeds
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • A Note on the Terminology ix
  • Preface xi
  • Introduction xv
  • The Rise of the Techno-Elites 1
  • One - Trade Secrets 3
  • Two - Trespass 23
  • Three - Political Science 45
  • Four - The Ownership Society 65
  • The Turning Points 85
  • Five - Who Owns Rice? 87
  • Six - The Botany of Scarcity 106
  • Seven - The Botany of Abundance 128
  • A Green Wealth 145
  • Eight - Ripe for Change 147
  • Nine - A Conversation with Corn 163
  • Ten - The Down-Turned Hand 179
  • A Cabinet of Seeds Displayed 193
  • Epilogue - The Seeded Earth 195
  • Acknowledgments 206
  • Sources and Resources 209
  • Index 219
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